The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

October 13, 2011
A.M. Reading: CalPERS investments; outsourcing state jobs; news from Wisconsin

Investing Amid Global Turmoil
CalPERS Chief Investment Officer Joe Dear talks about the fund's asset allocation, current economic challenges, the fund's long-term perspective and the "Occupy Wall Street" movement.

Target Return Of 7.75% Very Challenging In The Near-term
Joseph Dear, the CIO of CALPERS, appeared on CNBC yesterday to discuss the near and long term outlook for the markets. His comments are highly instructive for other investors in formulating an investment policy, either for themselves or on behalf of a pension or endowment fund. (

The State Worker: California government rules and reality sometimes clash
Unions this week hailed Gov. Jerry Brown for signing legislation aimed at making it harder for the state to contract for services that state workers can provide. Whether the measure, Assembly Bill 740, really accomplishes that goal isn't clear. Sometimes the rules and the reality of government clash. (Sacramento Bee)

California big-city mayors want more money for public safety
As California begins redirecting new inmates and parolees to counties this month, nine big-city mayors are asking the cash-strapped state for money to address a "brewing public safety crisis." (Sacramento Bee)

Editorial: FPPC is right to aim high and let small stuff go
Can a longtime lobbyist who has known a legislator for decades send flowers when the legislator dies if the surviving spouse is also a legislator? This is not an idle question. It came up when retired state Sen. Al Alquist died in 2006, and his widow was in the Senate. (Sacramento Bee)

Legislation would bring back Wis. collective bargaining
As the effort to recall the governor begins to take shape, two Democratic state legislators are attempting to reverse the recently imposed limits on collective bargaining powers. (The Badger Herald)

State workers assured that new pay plan wouldn't cut vacation time
Department of Corrections Secretary Gary Hamblin is assuring employees that changes in work rules and pay being contemplated by Gov. Scott Walker's administration do not include cuts in vacation time. (Wisconsin State Journal)

State workers in SC: Benefits crucial
Cherlyn May is not an accountant. She says she doesn't understand unfunded actuarial accrued liabilities and amortization periods. Here is what she does know: 23 years ago, she had a choice -- work in the private sector and make more money with fewer benefits, or work for the state and make less money with more benefits. She chose the benefits. The State Herald)

EXCLUSIVE: COLAs Killing R.I. Pension System
The state pension system shelled out nearly two hundred million dollars in annual cost of living adjustments in 2010--an expense that experts say is driving the cost of the system out of control and pushing the state deeper into debt. (

Michigan bill would let governor appoint more state workers
LANSING - A proposal has been introduced in the Legislature that would allow the governor to appoint more state government employees. (Lansing State Journal)

Capital Files for Bankruptcy
HARRISBURG, Pa.--Pennsylvania's capital city filed for bankruptcy protection from creditors Wednesday, in a case closely watched by other cities and towns looking for ways out of dire financial troubles. (Wall Street Journal)

State plans to lay off three of Syracuse's four drug investigators
Syracuse, NY - Three of the state Health Department's four narcotics investigators in Syracuse will be cut as part of state layoffs slated for this month, a retired official said.
Statewide, 11 of the 17 narcotics investigators in the health department's Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement will be laid off, said Kenneth Post, who retired last year as head of the bureau. The cuts are part of nearly 3,500 instituted this month after the Public Employees Federation rejected the state's contract offer. (

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About The State Worker

Jon Ortiz The Author

Jon Ortiz launched The State Worker blog and a companion column in 2008 to cover state government from the perspective of California government employees. Every day he filters the news through a single question: "What does this mean for state workers?" Join Ortiz for updates and debate on state pay, benefits, pensions, contracts and jobs. Contact him at (916) 321-1043 and at


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